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1995 Honda Civic EX
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Working on a 95 civic d16a which is like a d16z6. I had to do water pump for the first time in my life so I got the kit with timing belt, tensioner and cam and crank seals. Then I decided to try to be cool and put on a skunk2 adjustable cam gear that I don't even really need at this point, I just think in the future I might build more...

I set everything to tdc by lining up crank with the arrow and the mark, but I messed up and took off the timing belt BEFORE I took off the cam gear. So when I went to loosen the cam gear bolt to remove the cam gear, it turned independently of the crankshaft some to the counter-clockwise. I eventually got the bolt off with an impact but the cam has moved this way and that with no timing belt on, while the crankshaft pulley was lined up with the tdc arrow.

Then I found out I needed the woodruff key for my pointless new cam gear and I was too nervous to make my own so I waited for one from Honda. I put on the cam gear the only way it will go on, I tried to turn cam gear to where it lines up to TDC correctly and it didn't want to move, at least not by hand with no tools.

I finally do more searching and find other n00bs with this problem on the Internet, who are now at risk of bending valves, which I knew but I thought it would take some decent amount of force to bend a valve, like the timing belt would have to break while the car is running or moving. I haven't pushed anything hard at all, but this is new to me.

While searching I find advice to turn the crank's notch to 3 o'clock or 6 o'clock, which ever is closer, while avoiding 12 o'clock (the arrow mark).
Then they say I would be able to turn the cam gear any which way I needed to to get it to TDC so that its marks line up,
so that's what I did but I did have to use a normal ratchet to turn the cam gear, and it didn't take very much force, (I'm 140 lbs and not buff.)
Then I turned the crank back to the arrow mark
so that now everything seems to be all lined up, and I'm about to put the new timing belt on.

I may have heard some clicking during turning of the crank and/or cam. Did I bend a valve that easily? If so, that is a painful learning experience.
 

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1995 Honda Civic EX
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My valves are fine apparently and the car started right up

The car idled funny until it warmed up, then I drove it and it felt somewhat sluggish so I used my timing light and dialed it to zero, checked the ignition timing. Standing on the driver's side of the vehicle, the ignition timing marks were much to the right of the lil' gun sights, so I turned the distributor slowly as far as I could and the ignition timing marks are still a bit to the right of the lil' gun sights. However, the idle instantly improved and the sluggishness went away and everything appears back to normal, but could I make it better or did I go wrong anywhere? Should that timing light be dialed to zero?

When I was doing the timing belt and setting cam timing, first I put on the adjustable cam gear. I set s2 cam gear to be advanced one mark. I believe that's 1º+. Then I tightened the adjustable cam gear's six lil' bolts to 8 ft/lbs with blue loc-tite.
Then I lined up the 2 marks on the cam gear with the 2 triangles on the plastic piece behind the cam gear.
No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get the timing belt on. I made sure not to move the crank; I kept the cranks marks lined up. I had to move the cam slightly to the left so that I could finally get the timing belt on. I could still argue that the 2 cam marks were more or less lined up with the plastic triangle marks.

Advanced cam timing makes the car faster under 3000rpm?

Now that I have an adjustable cam gear, can I just take off my upper timing belt cover and adjust the cam gear without removing the timing belt?
Can that correct my ignition timing?
I would guess yes, but when you advance or retard your cam timing, should your ignition timing still line up perfectly with the 3 marks on the pulley?

(the stock specs D16A / D16Z6 ignition timing is 16º +/-2º (Red mark) BTDC at 650 rpm.)
 

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Premium Member
2005 Legacy GT
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1,754 Posts
Now that I have an adjustable cam gear, can I just take off my upper timing belt cover and adjust the cam gear without removing the timing belt?

Yes.

Can that correct my ignition timing?

Ignition timing is set independently of mechanical timing so ... no, advancing/retarding the cam will not "fix" (nor does it have anything to do with) your ignition timing. You can advance/retard ignition timing by rotating the distributor.

I would guess yes, but when you advance or retard your cam timing, should your ignition timing still line up perfectly with the 3 marks on the pulley?

This one I'm not sure about.

(the stock specs D16A / D16Z6 ignition timing is 16º +/-2º (Red mark) BTDC at 650 rpm.)
Honestly I'm not sure what good adjusting your mechanical timing would do on a bone stock engine. Unless you've done something else to it ... leave it at factory specs. The engineers at Honda set it up that way for a reason and, unless you've changed something, that reason is still valid.
 

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B-series Destroyer
4g 4d civic
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913 Posts
Are you positive that the cam gear you put on is for the engine you swapped in? z/a are different from y engines
 

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1995 Honda Civic EX
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yes, it is the correct part. The d series cam gear by skunk 2 says on it d16z6, and it also has d16yb or something like that on it. Depending on what engine you're using, since it's adjustable, it can be used on two different engines.

AutoXcivic,
Plus, turning the cam gear turns the rotor button inside the distributor so they're dependent. True?

Turning distributor toward the front of the car retards the timing. Does the same rule apply to the cam gear?

Crankshaft TDC is different. Turning the distributer is like turning the cam gear independent of the crank gear/with no timing belt on. Turning the adjustable cam gear is like turning the distributer even more. The crankshaft when viewed with the crankshaft pulley removed like when you're doing a new timing belt job, the gear should always be pointing at TDC, unless you need to adjust the cam gear without the timing belt on, then the crank should be at 3 oclock or 6 oclock, whichever is closest, then you can line up cam marks without fear of crashing valves. Then line crank back up to its mark.

You are correct that I have no reason to be messing with this since i only have a stock engine, but I plan on building slowly and I must learn first. Advancing or Retarding your timing can affect the power band so that you get more power at low RPMs or higher RPMs. A sort of trade-off, but now i think i could have achieved advanced timing to the degree i wanted without the adjustable cam gear. However, when I did the cam seals I would have messed up timing anyway. Now, with the cam gear adjuster set at 0, and distributer retarded to the max, the timing is still slightly too advanced when I veiw throught the timing light. I don't know what my ignition timing was before the belt change and cam mod, so perhaps this mod is convenient but not necessary.
 

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1995 Honda Civic EX
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just re-adjusted cam and then used the timing light and set distributer and reset ecu and its running perfect. I made ignition timing ever so slightly advanced best I can but I can never tell exactly anyway. I think its faster, especially in the middle of acclerating through 3rd gear i'd say, but nearest dyno tuner is 59 miles away and i'm not ready for all that anyway.
 

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Brokedick Millionaire
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40,665 Posts
Just re-adjusted cam and then used the timing light and set distributer and reset ecu and its running perfect. I made ignition timing ever so slightly advanced best I can but I can never tell exactly anyway. I think its faster, especially in the middle of acclerating through 3rd gear i'd say, but nearest dyno tuner is 59 miles away and i'm not ready for all that anyway.
Eric the Mad Scientist?
 
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